Ellie’s veins have had such overuse from her countless canulas and long lines that she faced her newest challenge today, surgery. Originally they talked about a central line which would mean a full anesthetic both when it goes in and when it comes out. We especially didn’t like this idea as it would have meant being intubated again when she gets it out (we are hoping she can be extubated in the next few days and remain that way from now on).
After much discussion with consultants and surgeons it was decided a line would be put through into her jugular vein instead of a central line which would avoid a general anesthetic when being removed. (This decision proved very providential….more on that later). So brave little Ellie left her home in lvl 3 or the NICU for the first time ever and headed off to the theaters. She was accompanied by a doctor and her nurse (and a watchful mother) on her trip through the hospital corridors. Two more doctors came to visit while we were waiting for Ellie to go into theatres – just because it was Ellie and they wanted to see her. Ellie managed to have not only her neonatal consultant but a anaesthetic consultant and the head of surgery consulting on how and what line they were going to give her. Not to mention the fellow and registrar that followed her case today (and all week).
When they scanned her jugular vein in preparation for surgery they found a clot and could not use it. Their initial thoughts is that this clot could very well be the source of her infection struggles and part of the reason her progress has been so slow. After consultation (and her ventilation tube moving and her having to be reintubated) they instead decided a line into the major vein in her leg should hold her over for about and week and hopefully give her veins time to recover. Our brave little warrior princess got through all this without any anesthetic (just a nice big boost of morphine and muscle relaxant).
Ellie recovered well from the operation and even woke up to say hi to mum before she left. We are both hopeful that they can now address the blood clot and give her an even better chance of full recovery.
After a 9 hour day at the hospital Hannah and I were exhausted but so happy to see Ellie Belly awake and moving after her surgery.
*Deb and Matt